Reading Barth Backwards: IV/4: Baptism with the Holy Spirit, #2

The freedom of people to be faithful to God is grounded in the freedom of God, a freedom which God “has made use in supreme majesty and condescension in the history of Jesus Christ.” This history is the change, says Barth, that occurs when a man becomes God’s friend instead of God’s enemy.

This friendship is made possible through Jesus Christ, the one elected from eternity to respond to God’s faithfulness with human faithfulness as the Second Adam, the representative of all humanity. “In [his history] the turning of all from unfaithfulness to faithfulness took place. In this history of His the Christian life became an event as the life of all.” (all quotes p. 13).

While certainly the Second Adam image comes to mind here, the parallel between this argument and portions of N.T. Wright’s positioning of Jesus as the New Israel, the Israel that God had always wanted, as it were, seems to be a good one.


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